Monday, December 5, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Clouds Opening Haiku by Garry Eaton

English Original

clouds opening
the blue
of her eyes

tinywords, 15:2, November 2 2015

Garry Eaton


Chinese Translation (Traditional) 

層層雲彩敞開
她眼睛
的蔚藍色

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

层层云彩敞开
她眼睛
的蔚蓝色


Bio Sketch

Garry Eaton was a Canadian poet from British Columbia. He started writing haiku in 2006 and was published occasionally in the major haiku magazines. He volunteered as the digital librarian for The Haiku Foundation Digital Library.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

One Man's Maple Moon: Hand in Hand Tanka by Ignatius Fay

English Original

a walk
through the park
hand in hand
talking of times
they tried dating women

Gusts, 23, Spring/Summer 2016

Ignatius Fay


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

手牽手
一起散步
穿過公園
他們談論那年代
試著和女人約會

Chinese Translation (Simplified) 

手牵手
一起散步
穿过公园
他们谈论那年代
试着和女人约会


Bio Sketch

Ignatius Fay was a retired invertebrate paleontologist. His poems had appeared in many of the most respected online and print journals, including The Heron’s NestModern HaikuArs Poetica, GustsChrysanthemum and Eucalypt. Books: Breccia (2012), a collaboration with fellow haiku poet, Irene Golas; Points In Between (2011), an anecdotal history of his first 23 years. He was the editor of the Haiku Society of America Bulletin. Ignatius resided in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Poetic Musings: Gnat's Smudge Tanka by William Ramsey

a gnat’s smudge
on my forearm --
the smallest death
i have known this year
but typical

The Tanka Anthology, 2003

William Ramsey

Commentary: This typical, bipartite tanka consists of one unpleasant yet seemingly trivial image, Ls 1&2, and the speaker's statement, Ls 3-5, a reflection on its preceding image, which is part of daily life:  "the smallest death (of a gnat) I have known this year, but typical." 

Syntactically and structurally speaking, the speaker's response / reflection in Ls 3-5 is made more acerbic by falling back to a short, concluding line: "but typical." Thematically and emotionally speaking, this typical case of the smallest death reveals something about the speaker's lifeworld, limited and boring  / nothing unusual, and more importantly, about his personality because of the matter-of-fact tone of Ls 3-5. 

And it might be interesting to do a thematic comparative reading of the following tanka about the view of death:

in the garden
the dwindling petals
of the daffodil
the blessing of a death
from natural causes 

Dance into the World, 2020                                               

Marianne Paul 

Friday, December 2, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Death Day Haiku by Robert Epstein

English Original

tall summer grass
so dry it hums
Dad’s death day

Haiku Days of Remembrance, 2018

Robert Epstein


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

高大的夏草
太乾了, 在風中發出嘶嘶聲
爸爸的忌日

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

高大的夏草
太干了, 在风中发出嘶嘶声
爸爸的忌日


Bio Sketch

Robert Epstein, a psychologist and haiku poet/anthologist, lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has edited four anthologies:  The Breath of SurrenderDreams Wander OnThe Temple Bell Stops; and Now This.  He has written two books of haiku:  A Walk Around Spring Lake; and Checkout Time is Noon, as well as a chapbook titled, What My Niece Said in His Head:  Haiku and Senryu

Thursday, December 1, 2022

A Room of My Own: Face-to-Face Tanka

reading between the lives and writing between the lines, XXXIV

the face-to-face
between a Royal aide
and a Black guest:
I am born here, UK
but, where are you really from?


Notes:

1: Lady Susan Hussey,  Queen Elizabeth's aide for more than 60 years,  was made Prince William’s godmother in 1982. After the monarch’s death, King Charles III kept her on as a “lady of the household.” According to Newsweek, she was one of the palace aides put in charge of helping Meghan Markle prepare for royal life, and there are unconfirmed reports that she was against Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry... Glamour, Nov. 30: "Prince William and Kate Middleton Release a Statement Following Racist Incident at Buckingham Palace"

2: Ngozi Fulani, founder of Britain’s leading domestic abuse charity, Sistah Space for Black women, was invited to the Violence Against Women and Girls reception on Tuesday, hosted by the Queen Consort Camilla. For more, see The Independent, Nov.30: "Ngozi Fulani: Black Charity boss of  Sistah Space accuses Buckingham Palace of institutional racism after ‘traumatic’ encounter with royal aide"


This tanka is a sequel to the following tanka set:

The Aftermath

Life is about storytelling — about the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we are told and the stories we buy into ... Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex

white on white
this snowy day
a voice lurking
in dim corners of her mind,
the baby's skin color?

we're very much
not a racist family ...
in winter chill
a black man mutters
at least a bit


3: The following is a relevant excerpt from Sistah Space (@Sistah_Space)'s Nov. 30 Tweet where Lady SH is Lady Susan Hussey and Me is Ngozi Fulani:

Lady SH: Where are you from?
Me: Sistah Space
SH: No where do you come from?
Me: We're based in Hackney.
SH: No, what part of Africa are YOU from?
Me: I don't know, they didn't leave any records.
SH: Well, you must know where you're from, I spent time in France. Where are you from?
Me: Here, UK
SH: No, but what Nationality are you?
Me: I am born here and am British.
SH: No, but where do you really come from, where do your people come from?
Me: 'My people', lady, what is this?
SH: Oh I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you're from. When did you first come here?
Me: Lady! I am a British national, my parents came here in the 50's when...
SH: Oh, I knew we'd get there in the end, you're Caribbean!
Me: No lady, I am of African heritage, Caribbean descent and British nationality.
SH: Oh so you're from....

For more, see The Telegraph, Nov. 30: "Queen Elizabeth's aide, Lady Susan Hussey, resigns amid racism row."


Added:

Just an Awkward Night 
[amid a racist row at home]

cheers and U-S-A!
from the basketball crowd ...
the Royal couple
glance up at the giant screens 
to check if they're on camera

the Royals
gamely fix their smiles
one Celtics fan 
launches a tweetstorm of "If we lose
we blame this on the British"

FYI: A "tweetstorm" is a series of related tweets posted by a Twitter user in quick succession.

And The Independent, Dec. 2: New York Times writes ‘unsurprising’ report on Boston’s reaction to William and Kate visit

“Don’t care.”

We cannot tolerate the royal family” because of allegations of racism, namely from Meghan Markle.

“This is America, and I think that’s an important part of who we are, that we don’t deify people.”

I said to my wife this morning, ‘I put my pants on the same way he does – why is he so special?


Addedreading between the lives and writing between the lines, XXXV

within the confine
of these white picket fences
the neighbors
nodding at each other
around this gated neighborhood


FYI: This tanka is a sequel to the following haiku sequence:

Land of the Free

electric gate
Your Kind of Community
in glowing white letters

picket fences
a white man shadows
the black teen

thud of footsteps
one bark answers
another

ID check
the black teen’s shadow
slips out of the gate

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Butterfly Dream: White Rice Haiku by Stuart Quine

English Original

white rice in a white bowl winter sunlight

Presence,  23

Stuart Quine

 
Chinese Translation (Traditional)

白米飯在白碗內冬日陽光

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

白米饭在白碗内冬日阳光

 
Bio Sketch

Stuart Quine was born in Helsby, UK, in 1962, and he worked as an Intensive Care nurse until ill-health forced early retirement. Widely recognised as a pioneer of one-line haiku, he began exploring them in 1998, enjoying both their aesthetic appeal and the echo of Japanese haiku.  Sour Pickle (2018)  and Wild Rhubarb (2019) were his first collections of one-line haiku. And Wild Rhubarb was awarded Third Place in the Haiku Society of America’s Merit Book Awards, 2020

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

One Man's Maple Moon: Recurring Dream Tanka by Sonam Chhoki

English Original

recurring dream --
on the stone steps to the house
my mother
in green and black brocade
how young, how alone 

A Hundred Gourds, 1:1, December 2011 

Sonam Chhoki 


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

反覆出現的夢 --
在通往房子的石階上
我的母親
身穿綠色和黑色的錦緞
多麼年輕, 多麼孤獨

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

反覆出现的梦 --
在通往房子的石阶上
我的母亲
身穿绿色和黑色的锦缎
多么年轻, 多么孤独


Bio Sketch

Sonam Chhoki finds the Japanese short form poetry resonates with her Tibetan Buddhist upbringing.  She is inspired by her father, Sonam Gyamtsho, the architect of Bhutan's non-monastic modern education and by her mother, Chhoden Jangmu, who taught her: “Being a girl doesn’t mean you can’t do anything.” She is the principal editor, and co-editor of haibun for the United Haiku and Tanka Society journal, cattails.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Covered Bridge Haiku by vincent tripi

English Original

with me the same cloud       out of the covered bridge 

The Haiku Anthology, 1974 

vincent tripi 


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

走出廊橋     同一朵雲和我在一起

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

走出廊桥     同一朵云和我在一起


Bio Sketch

Founder of The Haiku Circle, vincent tripi was closely associated with the spiritual movement in American Haiku. He wrote haiku for over 35 years, and published 14 books of haiku. Most of his haiku reflect a Buddhist foundation.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

A Room of My Own: Last Drawing Tanka

reading between the lives and writing between the lines, XXXIII

my friend stares
at her son's last drawing:
on a bald head
Zoloft, Prozac, Lithium ...
and a cracked heart


Added:

the triage line
snakes around hallway corners
a grey-haired nurse
mumbles ... then collapses
in a sobbing heap


Added

All the Words in Battledress

some hundred miles
from his home stuffed with books
in Kherson
my friend writes poetry by screams 
-- the last stage of lyricism

more war poems
sent by the Ukrainian poet ...
in smoky twilight
the head of I  being cut off
the roof of M falling through


Note: L5 of the first tanka alludes to the following remark:

Miles away from poetry, we still participate in it by that sudden need to scream—the last stage of lyricism. 

-- Romanian philosopher and essayist Emil Cioran, whose work has been known for its pervasive philosophical pessimism, style, and aphorisms

And CBC News, Nov.26: Hundreds flee Ukraine's Kherson to escape 'real hell' of Russian shelling: Kilometre-long line of vehicles on Kherson's outskirts as civilians leave recaptured city

The exodus from Kherson came as Ukraine solemnly remembered a Stalin-era famine and sought to ensure that Russia's war in Ukraine doesn't deprive others worldwide of its vital food exports.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Kiss Haiku by Jan Benson

English Original

home late --
the kiss you wanted,
the one you got

Failed Haiku , 1:4, April 2016
 
Jan Benson


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

晚歸 --
過去你渴望的吻,
你得到了那個吻

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

晚归 --
过去你渴望的吻,
你得到了那个吻


Bio Sketch

Jan Benson was a Pushcart Prize nominated haiku poet. Her haiku were published in many of the world's leading haiku journals and magazines. Jan was a member of The World Haiku Association and Poetry Society of Texas. Jan's profile can be found on The Haiku Foundation "Poet Registry" and online at The Living Haiku Anthology.

Friday, November 25, 2022

One Man's Maple Moon: White Cross Tanka by Marian Olson

English Original 

on the windy hill
beneath the buckeye tree
a white cross
where her boy plays baseball
night and day

A Hundred Gourds, 1:1, December 2011 

Marian Olson


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

在大風的小丘上
七葉樹下
一個白色的十字架
是她兒子日日夜夜
打棒球的地方

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

在大风的小丘上
七叶树下
一个白色的十字架
是她儿子日日夜夜
打棒球的地方


Bio Sketch

Marian Olson, non-fiction writer and widely published international poet, was the author of nine books of poetry, including the award winning haiku in Songs of the Chicken YardDesert HoursConsider This, and Moondance.  Published in 2017, The Other and Kaleidoscope were her first books of tanka.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Poetic Musings: Lovers' Quarrel Senryu by Chen-ou Liu

we slip
into our mother tongues
lovers' quarrel 

Honourable Mention, 2022 Haiku Society of America Senryu Contest

Chen-ou Liu

Commentary by the judges: The word "quarrel" is well-chosen here. This seems to be a couple that is set in their ways and are repeating a familiar fight that's been had before. There may even be a comfort in this fight, a routine or known argument, that parallels the comfort of speaking in a mother tongue. There is also the idea that when tempers flare and we lose control, that we instinctively return to what is learned during developmental years, be it a common topic or a familiar language, so maybe this couple has returned to their native language mid-fight without even realizing it. “slip” and “mother tongues” were also carefully selected for this senryu, as the senryu could lean towards a make-up kiss after a fight. Regardless, this is a great observation of human behavior.


FYI: My senryu below could be read as a response to the judges' comment: "the senryu could lean towards a make-up kiss after a fight."

lovers' quarrel ...
her black cat and my pitbull
eyeball to eyeball

Failed Haiku, 2:22, October 2017

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Cool Announcement: New Release, Time Together by Naomi Beth Wakan

My Dear Readers:

I'm happy to share with you this exciting news: NeverEnding Story contributor Naomi Beth Wakan  published a new book, Time Together. This "collection of poems and photographs by Naomi Beth Wakan and Elias Wakan, is dedicated with love to Gabriola, the island near Vancouver, British Columbia, where the couple has lived for some twenty years. Her poetry and his photographs reflect their love and life together on this small island." 
 
Author's Bio: Naomi Beth Wakan is the inaugural Poet Laureate of Nanaimo (2014–16) and the Federation of British Columbia Writer’s Inaugural Honorary Ambassador. She has published over fifty books. Her most recent book of essays, On the Arts, came out in 2020 (Shanti Arts). Her trilogy, The Way of TankaThe Way of Haiku, and Poetry That Heals was published by Shanti Arts in 2019. Wakan is a member of The League of Canadian Poets, Haiku Canada, and Tanka Canada. She lives on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, the sculptor Elias Wakan.
 
 
Selected Tanka:

my total life
a shadow flickering
across the moon
one moment here
the next I float away

to reach an age
when things fall away
unneeded
as spent petals from a flower
as skins of summer snakes

an old cabin
long deserted ...
even the chinks
sealing it safe
have gone their way

Happy Reading

Chen-ou

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Butterfly Dream: Red Leaf Haiku by Larry Kimmel

English Original

a red leaf hops
in a gust from the curb
I catch it

bottle rockets, 30, 2014

Larry Kimmel


Chinese Translation (Traditional)

在路邊的一片紅葉
被一陣風吹到空中
我抓住它

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

在路边的一片红叶
被一阵风吹到空中
我抓住它


Bio Sketch

Larry Kimmel lives quietly in the hills of western Massachusetts.  His most recent books  are shards and dust (cherita), outer edges (tanka) and thunder and apple blossoms (haiku).

Monday, November 21, 2022

A Room of My Own: Santa Claus Parade Tanka

in morning chill
the Santa Claus Parade kicks off
the Christmas season
around the corner lineups
crowded at a food bank


Added:

the manager's look
at these half-empty shelves ...
the food bank's doorbell rings

FYI: CBC News, Oct. 27: More Canadians are turning to food banks than ever before, new report says

The annual report from Food Banks Canada said there were nearly 1.5 million visits to food banks in March, 15 per cent more than the same month last year and 35 per cent more than in March 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Fixed-income groups like seniors and employed but low-income people such as students have been hit harder because their paycheques can't keep up with inflation, Beardsley said.

The report also said that around 500,000 food bank clients — about one-third — are children, who make up around 20 per cent of the country's total population.

"Behind each one of these numbers is a person who is struggling too much to get by" -- Kirstin Beardsley, the CEO of Food Banks Canada.


Added: written in response to Inaugural poet and activist Amanda Gorman's remark: The truth is, "one nation under guns."

At the End of the Day

Club Q mass shooting ...
the same headwind on the way
back home from a party 

neighbor's home remodelling:
the No Trespassing sign
with a rifle-scope motif

FYI: for further discussion of this senseless mass shooting, see The New Yorker, Nov. 22:  "The Meaning of the Colorado Springs Attack" by Masha Gessen

"The essential precondition for mass violence is not guns or hate but a culture of terror, a common imaginary that includes the possibility of a mass shooting. It may be most useful to think of a politics of terror. People—and states—carry out terror for the sake of terror. The senselessness is the point, even as our brains desperately seek to make logical connections and find explanations.